Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uncertainty Is All I Can Rely On

In grad school I once asked a professor what it takes to becomes a writer. He thought briefly then said, “Well, I guess the first thing you need to do is abandon any hopes you have of leading a normal life.”

As a young person I was unwilling to make such a daring commitment. Ultimately it was the “abnormal” life that found me, and the process of dealing with that reality was transformational.

Writing my bipolar memoir, INVISIBLE DRIVING, served as a rite of passage, it ushered me into the world of Manic Depression. There was more, in order to accomplish this mysterious objective I also had to make the evolutionary leap from “promotional copywriter” – (read shoemaker) - to writer, putting it all on the line, discovering strengths I didn’t know I had.

My life until then had been spent one foot on the dock and one in the boat; I committed, at last, to the unknown; I became resigned to it – not in sad way, in a quietly accepting way – I set sail for keeps.

It is a lovely thing to know why one is on earth, and if one is lucky enough to find out, well – how could you look at yourself in the mirror if you couldn’t muster the vinegar to do it?

A Salty Dog

Tattered sails
Swell with breath
My battered boat
Groans and complains
As it’s guided from
Safe harbor to the
Cold and merciless sea
By invisible hands

I am weary of adventures
Scarred from fighting monsters
Hideous ones
Beautiful ones

All I ever wanted was a cat
A hearth, a dram, a meal
A woman who knew how to sew
A roof and wall to guard against
The cruelties of winter

But fate decrees that I am bound
Bound to the mast
Bound to the sea

Whatever rocky coast
Is my new home
I’ll tell my story there

Whatever rocky coast
Is my new home
I’ll tell my story there

Alistair McHarg


Click On Image To Enlarge
 

1 comment:

  1. "It is a lovely thing to know why one is on earth, and if one is lucky enough to find out, well – how could you look at yourself in the mirror if you couldn’t muster the vinegar to do it?"

    I am 30 years old and still I do not know my purpose here. I spent too long in the dark with the raging monsters and lost many years. I hope now that I am in the light I will eventually find my place.

    Nice poem too!

    ReplyDelete